Alternate History

Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 1970 (The Found Order)

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iaiiFollowing the a fourth successive conservative election defeat (the second under Heath's leadership), Edward Heath - under considerable pressure - resigned the leadership of the party 3 days after the election. The former tory leader Alec Douglas - Home assumed the position of caretaker leader until a successor could be elected.

Several prominent conservatives were seen as contenders for the leadership, including Willie Whitelaw, Reginald Maudling, Quintin Hogg, Edward du Cann and Iain Macleod.

The first ballot was scheduled to take place on Tuesday July 21st 1970, but the day before shadow Chancellor Iain Macleod - considered a serious candidate for the leadership - died of a severe heart attack. The ballot was postponed for a week as a mark of respect, being held on Tuesday July 28th 1970. The following filed nomination to be candidates:

Willie Whitelaw - Opposition Chief Whip, Whitelaw was seen as the candidate of the left/centre left of the party, and a continuation of Heath's policies

Reginald Maudling - Former Cabinet Minister, Maudling was seen as the candidate of the centre - right of the party.

Edward du Cann - Former Party Chairman, seen as the candidate of the right wing of the party and a more moderate (on race and immigration) than Powell

Enoch Powell - Former Cabinet Minister, a vocal right wing populist, whose views on immigration divided many

Quintin Hogg - Former cabinet minister, a man of the right but capable of maverick ideas, his flambouant style did undermine his campaign

Name Votes Percentage
Willie Whitelaw 87 32.8%
Reginald Maudling 83 31.3%
Edward du Cann 51 19.2%
Enoch Powell 38 14.3%
Quintin Hogg 6 2.3%
Majority 4 1.5%
Turnout 265

Hogg was eliminated.

Name Votes Percentage
Willie Whitelaw 87 33.1%
Reginald Maudling 85 32.1%
Edward du Cann 58 21.9%
Enoch Powell 33 12.5%
Majority 2 0.75%
Turnout 263

Powell was eliminated, he told his supporters to abstain on the next ballot.

Name Votes Percentage
Reginald Maudling 89 36.8%
Willie Whitelaw 84 34.7%
Edward du Cann 69 28.5%
Majority 5 2.1%
Turnout 242

Du Cann was eliminated.

Name Votes Percentage
Reginald Maudling
Willie Whitelaw

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